Customer bills stayed flat in 2021 due to tax offsets; effective Jan. 1, 2022, as authorized by the Maryland Public Service Commission, delivery service rates have increased but continue to be fully reduced by these tax benefits until Feb. 2022, when they will be partially offset by certain tax benefits for the rest of 2022.
BALTIMORE - BGE's multi-year customer relief and energy infrastructure investment plan, approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) in Dec. 2020, continues to provide improvements to the electric and natural gas systems serving 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland while assisting the region's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As authorized by the PSC, BGE customers' bills stayed flat in 2021 through the use of certain tax benefits and adjustments to offset approved rate increases. As authorized by the PSC, delivery service rates have increased beginning in January 2022 but continue to be fully reduced by these tax benefits until February 2022, when they will be partially offset by certain tax benefits for the rest of 2022. With the rate adjustment and offsets approved by the PSC, after January 2022 the average residential electric bill will increase by $3.28 per month, and the average residential natural gas bill would increase by $2.40 per month. Individual customer bill increases may differ slightly from these amounts, depending on household energy use.
BGE's energy infrastructure investment plan includes more than 300 projects and maintenance programs for the period 2021-2023. Examples include:
- Enhancing energy infrastructure supporting the growth of important economic development sites, such as the continued grid enhancements to the Tradepoint Atlantic Redevelopment site.
- Installing smart automation equipment to more quickly identify and circumvent damage to the electric grid and reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
- Replacing outmoded technologies, such as limited capacity 4kV electric systems, to improve reliability, enable greater adoption of solar energy and electric vehicle charging and to increase capacity in areas where redevelopment adds additional customer demand.
- Preparing the grid for extreme weather with continued tree trimming and vegetation management to ensure power line clearance and improve reliability during extreme weather events.
- Replacing outmoded natural gas pipeline segments using modern technologies and installing over-pressurization protection equipment to improve safety and reliability.
Customers are benefitting from infrastructure investments by BGE over the past decade. Power outages have declined by more than 38 percent and when customers do experience a service interruption, their power is restored nearly 40 percent faster today. Hundreds of miles of natural gas pipes are being replaced at an accelerated pace, which results in a safer, more efficient gas system that will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions in central Maryland. Gas pipeline upgrades completed during the plan years alone will reduce carbon emissions over their lifetime by nearly 1.1 million metric tons-the equivalent to taking 247,000 gasoline-powered cars off Maryland roads for one year.
BGE recognizes that many customers may still be impacted by the on-going global pandemic and will have difficulties facing increased utility bills. As a reminder, BGE offers Bill Payment Assistance and Payment Arrangements for customers. More information can be found at www.bge.com/covid19.
More information on BGE's multi-year plan is available at bge.com/myp.
BGE is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility, providing safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company was founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and remains headquartered in Baltimore City to this day. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Engage with the latest BGE stories on bgenow.com and connect with BGE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.